Chalmers: Now What?
I happened to catch Mayor Thane on the local airwaves this AM and as fate would have it, the topic turned to Chalmers. Paraphrasing here but the demolitionist-par-excellence host gushed something to the effect of: “Congratulations Mayor, Chalmers looks great!”
What followed from Mayor Thane was a pitch perfect rebuke of the ideology surrounding Chalmers demolition along with a likeminded rebuke of another demolitionist caller pining for the day Esquire is to be brought down. Paraphrasing again but the gist of the Mayor’s rebuke was that indeed Amsterdam turned away development and investment and in so doing, hurt our prospects for future development and investment.
I just love how a rubbled parking lot can look “great”. It’s the crowning achievement of the demolitionists to look upon rubble as greatness. Most communities look at actually building or constructing something as praiseworthy; not here, a simple pile of rubble will do.
While unfettered demolition and the rejection of residential development in the city — especially with the demise of Chalmers — cause me great angst, I find myself a bit giddy now that the demolitionists now utterly and completely own Chalmers.
You got what you wanted: Now What?
I know it’s impolite to press demolitionists just as they attain their climactic ecstasy of demolitionism at the site of a rubbled parking lot, but the question remains: Now What?
Once again, Mayor Thane provided some brilliant context for this predicament. While cities such as Schenectady and others have hundreds of thousands of dollars for marketing, our city has $7 thousand. While other communities recognize the importance of marketing, we literally reject it as a tactic. And while other communities have clear ownership of marketing and development, the best Mayor Thane can hope for — through no fault of her own — is a “discussion” with AIDA and the county.
Ah yes, AIDA marketing– the spawn of the demolitionists conceived on the sacred ground of every demolished site in the city who any day now, will drive marketing and development in the city. And of course, “the county” — the very agency to which AIDA subconmtracted its marketing only to be rebuffed when the county realized it had no budget to do the very marketing AIDA required. Don’t try to untangle the inhrent logic without consulting your physician.
It’s just wonderous to see the demolitionists succeed once again and crow of their success at achieving , from what I can tell, precisely nothing. Day after day, year after year, decade after decade.
But what the local airwaves teach you is that there is always so much more to tear down all the while wailing of excessive taxes as if the two are wholly compatible outcomes. If you believe you can spend millions of taxpayer dollars on demolition, reject outside development and investment and lower taxes, just keep tuning in — you’re their key demographic.
Me, not so much. I just see demolition and parking lots as symptomatic of a lack of growth symptomatic as a lack of strategy symptomatic of a failure to believe in a viable city.
But all this matters little, as the question on CHalmers remains: Now What?